Sunday, March 08, 2009

Guest Blogger: Allison Vandiepen

Allison's winner is: Davina! Congratulations to you. Send your contact information and I'll pass it along. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Some people have asked me why I’ve written a paranormal when my first two books were “realistic.” But nobody who knows me was surprised.

I grew up open-minded to most things paranormal. There seems to be a psychic gene in my family (which I haven’t inherited – and that’s fine with me). Several people I grew up with could speak of encountering ghosts, having premonitions and leaving their bodies. At a fairly young age, I had to decide for myself if these people were crazy, or if there might be a side to this world that wasn’t always visible to the naked eye.

The idea for RAVEN came when a psychic friend told me she’d seen a homeless person possessed by a spirit. She said that addiction can pierce holes in a person’s aura, leaving an addict vulnerable to the dark spirits that are out there. The idea fascinated me. And I wondered what would happen if there were beings who walked the earth preying upon people made so vulnerable by addiction that they couldn’t protect their own souls.

In doing research for RAVEN, I discovered the Chinese legend of the Jiang Shi, popularized by Hong Kong horror films of the 1980s. Jiang Shi are undead beings, sort of like vampires, who stay alive not by drinking blood, but by absorbing the souls of others. In RAVEN, the Jiang Shi prey upon the souls of addicts who have overdosed and are near death. They do not believe they are doing anything immoral. The Jiang Shi believe that the soul dissipates once it’s left the body, so there is no life after death.

The heroine of RAVEN, Nicole, finds herself falling for a sexy Arab breakdancer named Zin. She’s madly in love with him before she realizes what he really is – a Jiang Shi. The worst part is, her own brother is a meth addict. She’s terrified that he could become the victim of one of Zin’s kind. Nicole has fallen in love with a man who represents her greatest fear – the loss of her brother’s soul.

In many paranormal romances, a woman’s greatest fear and greatest love are found in the same person. I think that dichotomy is one of the things that attracts me to the genre. What is it about paranormal romance that attracts you?



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Allison will be giving away a copy of RAVEN to one person who comments. Winner will be chosen Tuesday evening and posted here.

14 Comments:

Blogger Davina said...

While I do find that whole dichotomy issue very intriguing, I think my love of the paranormal genre has more to do with my general fascination with magic and the unknown. The fantasy genre has always been one of my favourite ways to escape, and discovering paranormal romances was a revelation to me because of the way it combined some of my favourite aspects of the fantasy genre with romance - which, I have to admit, had never been something I'd paid much attention to!

3:25 AM  
Blogger Annette said...

Hi Allison! (waving)

Me, I love the really big stakes (yes, sometimes they're wooden, LOL), the strong women, and the good versus evil conflict.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Natasha said...

Allison,
I just wanted to say,I was one of the many people you signed a copy for at the OLA(Ontario Library Association) Super Conferenece in February (January?) lol
I can't wait to get started on this book! Stupid school getting in the way of my pleasure reading!! :D

6:26 AM  
Blogger Margay said...

Hi, Allison,
The premise for your book sounds fascinating. I think one of the things that attracts people to the paranormal story is that elusive question, "What if?" and paranormal authors tend to take that question and twist into an exciting world of possible answers.
Margay

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Melanie Mulhall said...

Allison,

I have never read a paranormal romance, so I cannot answer your question. But your comment about one's greatest fear and greatest love being found in one person struck a chord. It could easily be said that our journey through life has to do with confronting/accepting the former and embracing the latter--within ourselves. This is what shadow is all about. So, from that perspective, such books might be an externalization of the personal internal process. And a heckuva lot of fun in the process.

Melanie

7:54 AM  
Blogger tetewa said...

My favorite genre to read is Paranormal. I always love reading different authors takes on the many different ideas of the Supernatural.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Blodeuedd said...

I don't know what made me drawn to it, 1,5 years ago. I just picked up one and was bitten.
I love the werevolves, demons and vampires, and the love

11:46 AM  
Blogger Karin Shah said...

I agree totally about the dichotomy being a draw because it makes for such extreme conflict. I love Paranormal Romance for the life and death intensity of the conflicts and the super alpha nature of the heroes.

Karin Shah
STARJACKED
Available now!
Samhain Publishing

11:53 AM  
Blogger Vickie said...

What a way to be inspired for this book! What a new breath for the genre!

I have been reading paranormal in just about all of its forms for many years. I enjoy the humor, good-v-evil, well-written sex scenes, edgy fight scenes, and the gazillion of paranormal entities that are out there and more to be found.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Patricia Altner said...

In any genre I read I like to have a bit of romance in the story. It doesn't have to be the main focus.

To combine romance with paranormal - where the author's imagination can take readers on wondrous fantasy trips - is the best kind of story.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Welcome, Allison! It's great to have you here at Paranormality. Your book sounds delicious. I hope your sales are incredible.
Hugs, Lynda

2:17 PM  
Blogger donnas said...

Great post. One of the things that draws me the most to paranormals is that is it one of the better genres to use to "suspend your disbelief." You can really relax and enjoy the story.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Davina said...

Lynda, I did email you via your website a week or so ago, but I haven't heard from you so I'm not sure it got through. Just in case, my email is elioclya_d AT yahoo DOT com :)

11:25 AM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Davina: I passed your mailing address along to Allison. Hugs, Lynda

6:03 PM  

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